Tinkling bells and a gentle plodding of horses’ feet means Christmas has arrived in Lower Onslow.
December is when about 20 people at a time pile into a horse-drawn wagon for a ride around the Hamilton Farm off Hwy 2, slowly rolling through a landscape of open fields, pine trees, barnyards with cattle and through a small tunnel under the Trans-Canada Highway.
“We’re all horse people, and I give a 4-H riding clinic in Windsor every year, one week in July,” said customer Kevin Palmer on Dec. 15. “These are all the kids and all the parents who attend the riding clinics, so we decided we would come for a [wagon] ride here and then come to our home in Wentworth for a party later on.”
Over the Christmas period, people can enjoy sleigh rides on the Hamilton farm grounds, but warmer weather over the weekend forced organizers to postpone them.
However, children and adults alike soon settled into the wagon rides and enjoyed a winter wonderland of sorts, down a snow-covered path lined with balsam firs, which are often used as Christmas trees. It was easy to imagine them decorated with lights and baubles.
Other passengers took in more typical farm scene: cows and sheep in enclosures outside the barns, complete with piles of hay. On some outlying fields, manure was stacked up, ready to be used as fertilizer.
“It’s beautiful scenery and I’m a horse person, so it’s not unusual for me,” said wagon passenger Stacy Pilgrim.
While she would have enjoyed a sleigh ride with Christmas music and perhaps a hot toddy at the end, she felt it was a good way for people from Truro and other towns to come and explore the nearby countryside.
Her companion Mike Glavine was also familiar with horses, but as someone who usually rides through town streets, he was pleasantly surprised by the “extra scenery.”
Anyone wishing to join either a sleigh or horse and wagon tour can call the farm at 902-897-7480. People can also visit the Hamilton Sleigh and Wagon Rides Facebook page.